Aarushi & Hemraj – No Affirmation of Justice


On the night of May 15-16, 2008, Aarushi Talwar (soon to be 14), the only child of the dental practitioner couple Nupur and Rajesh Talwar, was discovered dead in her room, with her throat slit open, at their home in Jalvayu Vihar, Noida.

It has been 9 years and the case has still not been solved. The process was delayed due to the actions of the UP Police in the beginning. It is not easy to solve a murder without proper clues and evidences and there are two murders in this case without any evidences which make it difficult for the two victims to attain justice. The following are the facts and recent updates of the the double case which took place 9 years back.

The morning after the fateful night a complaint was filed by the Talwars against their manservant, Hemraj (45), who was suspected of the murder of their daughter. But all in vain as, a day later after the complaint was lodged, Hemraj’s decayed body was found on the terrace of their home. The post-mortem report of the 14 year old stated that there was sexual assault involved and on further examination by the police, they observed that the murder was done with surgical precision.

The Talwars, being doctors themselves, were held as suspects and the examination by the police was taken up as an instance of ‘honour killing’. Dr Rajesh Talwar, the father, was arrested for the double murder of his own child, Aarushi, and the help, Hemraj.

The state government, owing to the investigation and tremendous pressure surrounding the case, gave over the investigation of the murders to the CBI. The examination took another turn, and the compounder of Dr Talwar, Krishna and his partners Vijay Mandal and Raj Kumar were captured and subsequently subjected to lie indicator and narco-analysis investigation.

Due to the carelessness and irresponsible behaviour of the police, the evidence from the crime scenes were lost. When the CBI took up the case, they had to start all over again, without any proper evidences.

Two years later, in December 2010, the CBI conducted a narco-examination on the Talwars and presented a conclusion report expressing that though Rajesh Talwar was the prime suspect, no charge sheet was being recorded because of absence of evidence. However, the Ghaziabad Trial Court took note of the report put together by the CBI and charged the Talwars under Section 302 (murder) and Section 201 (destruction of evidence) of the IPC. After an extended fight in court testing their summoning right up to the Supreme Court followed, the Talwars at last needed to confront trial, which started five years after the staggering double-murder case. It was amid trial that the CBI guaranteed that Aarushi and Hemraj were killed by Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, the guardians of the 14 year old young lady, in light of the fact that the two were found in a compromising position. No material of evidence was submitted to substantiate the claim. On the premise of incidental confirmation the Talwar couple were sentenced to life imprisonment for the double murder, by the trial court on November 26, 2013.

After four years, the much-anticipated decision and the destiny of the Talwars has been chosen by the division bench of the Allahabad High Court today, where the High Court turned around the decision of the trial court. The dental practitioner couple, who were serving their life sentence were vindicated of murder in light of the fact that the CBI had failed to demonstrate that the Talwars were “guilty beyond any reasonable doubt“, and along these lines the Talwars couldn’t be charged just on the premise of doubt. In a criminal case, the burden of proof lies on the prosecution and the benefit of doubt, if any is given to the accused. The trial court relied on Section 106 and Section 114 of the Indian Evidence Act. These provisions enable the court to assume the presence of any reality which is probably going to happen. In this procedure, the courts should respect the normal course of human conduct. The Allahabad High Court, after analysing all the information and possible evidences gathered, came to a conclusion that the prosecution had primarily failed to demonstrate and prove the case beyond the boundary of doubt and suspicion.

This case has shown how irresponsible the UP Police were– they lost evidences that would have been crucial in solving this case; the culprit would have been found by now and nobody would have had to play the blame game; the CBI would have had a proper lead to work on and would not have blamed the parents without any evidence. The legal system seemed careless and corrupted which led to no justice for Aarushi still.

The judgment passed by the Allahabad High Court on the 13th of October, 2017 was relief and kind of justice served to the Talwar couple and many others who had to struggle through the hardships of the legal system. Even as the judgment comes as a respite for the Talwar parents, no justice has been found for 14-year-old  Aarushi and their domestic help, Hemraj. It’s been a not so happy homecoming for the Talwars.

-Contributed by Atreyee Chakraborti

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